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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    This is my first year in fragrance. I have been trying (and failing) to find a cold weather scent - please help!

    I want something with a backbone, sturdy and a bit warm, to hold me through the season. Normally I've got a taste for greens, aromatics, and odd balls, but most of these fall in the summer category. No thanks if it's conventionally feminine (death to fruity florals), sweet, or heavy on the vanilla. I gravitate towards unisex, and a step to either side.

    My progress so far (in case it's relevant, likely just confounding):
    - I thought an absinthe accord might be the ticket, but all my samples missed the mark: Nasomatto, L'Artisan, Guerlain, Goutal
    - Oud seems promising. Though the few Ouds I checked had a plastic edge that took forever to mellow into a more natural scent (is that how agarwood is, or is that from the synthetic sourcing?) The exception was Creed's Royal Oud, which was grand, but it turned too sweet for my tastes and just a smidgen too mature. Also I don't like rose and that's a common pairing.
    - Was also thinking woody aromatic or woody spicy, though I don't want it too "creamy". Ex: Tam Dao was too creamy, I don't know if that's how I would feel about sandalwood in general or just the cream that rises when you put sandalwood and cedar together. D.S. & Durga's Bowmakers (crisp wood + rich resin, no cream) is my plan B if I don't find anything else.
    - maybe winter vetivers for the unisex woman? whatever those would be? Sycomore was great but I didn't care for the bubbly aldehydes...

    I think I'm just too picky!

    Thanks in advance for sharing any thoughts you might have!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    If you don't mind trying men's scents, give Caron Yatagan a try, it's dry, woody, spicy, leathery, incense - not creamy. Etro Shaal Nur might be another to test - citrus top, woods, incense and a little vanilla to round it out - very unisex. Paloma Picasso is a dry, peppery, woody, chypre. Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau maybe, it has spice, incense, woods, suede and some vanilla to round it out - not a foody vanilla. Aromatics Elixir perhaps, floral chypre or Marilyn Miglin Pheromone - floral incense, green, dark, really unusual - I wouldn';t consider either of these big florals, but they do have floral notes, far more complex that just floral.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Have you tried Guerlain's Songe d'Un Bois d'Ete? Despite the name (which they must have pulled out of a hat at random), it'd be an excellent a fragrance for winter. It's Guerlain's take on the oud theme - very unisex, warm, spicy, no obvious synthetic notes. Just an idea.

  4. #4
    Dependent DaveStPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Hi janjanjan,

    Hey, don't knock picky. Picky is a good thing. Maddening and frustrating at times, but mostly good.

    You might be an incense gal. And you definitely might be a Comme des Garçons gal. They make some of the most interesting fragrances around. There are:

    Avignon -- frankincense, a little smoke, somehow the feel of the cool dusty stones in a cathedral
    Kyoto -- white smoke, light Japanese incense, a fresh green outdoors feeling, somehow the feel of being near a Japanese temple
    Zagorsk -- church incense, smoke, pine, snow (snow?!? they did it, somehow), the feel of a Russian Orthodox church in winter

    Comme des Garçons also does a "Red" series, and two of those are:
    Sequoia -- simple, but really interesting; the smell of a giant redwood tree, sap and all!
    Palisander -- rosewood, a little creamy, and this interesting buzz in the background (chili? Red Hots?)

    Which L'Artisans did you try? If you haven't yet, try:
    Dzongkha -- more incense, mixed with iris, very light (but good!) spices, and something like stones warming in the sun. I don't know how to really explain the feeling, but it really does feel like you're in Bhutan. (And have *I* been to Bhutan? Uh . . . no.)

    Sorry to be so "this perfume takes you on a joooooourney!" Usually the "story" behind a fragrance is completely worthless, or worse; but all of these suggestions do something interesting, and it's more like they came up with a great smell first, then talked about what it actually does to them when they smell it.

    Anyway, good luck.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I am thinking about a warm patch like Chanel Coromandel.

    Green to my nose always gives a fresh impression. Exception mentioned above is the supermacho Yatagan. But I don't see a problem with a woman wearing it - it's not Kouros after all ...

    Sweet, mineral, and plasticky ("band aid") notes are indeed typical of oud, but ouds are all reconstructions anyway, so it depends on which aspect the perfumer decides to stress. Dior Leather oud, which goes for smoked oud rather than oud oil, has none of the sweetness and mineral, but remains dry, warm, and animalic.

    cacio

  6. #6
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Try Hermessence Vetiver Tonka by Hermès. I'm enjoying using it in cooler weather, and it's certainly unisex.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Have you tried Frederic Malle's l'Eau d'Hiver? It is one of my winter favorites. It is an almond-heliotrope accord and unisex - no big florals or sweets. It also has a surprising amount of projection and tenacity when sprayed from a full bottle.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    +1 on the CdG recommendations. I'd add Hinoki to the mix.

    Also, how about 10 Corso Como? Sandalwood and incense and no sweetness, to my nose.

    Serge Lutens Gris Clair might also fit the bill -- it has lavender, but is mainly smoldering, ashy incense. A really lovely, warming winter fragrance.

    If patchouli is a possibility, a straight up patch with no amber or other sweetness is ELdO's Nombril Immense -- a straight, woody patchouli without much ornamentation.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    If you are interested in an absinthe scent, you should try both Amouage Memoirs. One of these may work well for you.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Just a quick addition Encre Noir or Dior Vetiver for drier smokey vetiver. Maybe Chanel Bois de îles (cosy, cosy, cosy) EdT is lovely and the parfum is especially nice.
    We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. ~Kahlil Gibran

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    YOSH Omniscent, Bottega Veneta, Dior Homme, Bandit…..and I agree with Xscent, Bois de Iles.
    RHM's Vintage, Rare & Pretty Darn Good items on offer: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/380...old-Pour-Femme

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I don't think anything can beat Chanel Bois des Iles, comfort and warmth in a bottle.

  13. #13
    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Have you tried Amouage Ubar or Interlude? They both read warm, but also are unusual scents.

    Others that come to mind are Frapin 1697 or Caravelle Epicee (spicy and warm)

    Do you like Leather? I'm feeling nicely wrapped up in Cuir de Lancome and highly recommend Cuir Mauresque (Serge Lutens)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Theorema is my go to winter scent. Of course, it's also discontinued. But not impossible to find.

  15. #15
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Oh my goodness, I didn't expect so many thoughtful, great responses! They've all been transferred to a word document which I will meticulously research to make sampling selections. It's about to get REAL intense y'all!

    I have tried *none* of these if you can believe it. With a half exception - I just blind ordered Encre Noir yesterday, my first blind ever. The price was right, and reviews made it sound like Sycomore without the aldehydes. I'm so anxious. Aight, off to compulsively read reviews of all these great tips...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I have several favorite fragrances based upon vetiver, and the one rooty and smokey is L'Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu, enveloping and cozy. Another one is Etat Libre d'Orange Fat Electrician (but it is sweeter).

    Definitely try Bois des Iles, as recommended above by many.

    I was also thinking about non sweet figs and patchouli.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Maybe you'll find interesting Hindu Kush by AbdesSalaam Attar:mossy green in the opening, woods and incense in the heart and a bittersweet drydown.
    "Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen

  18. #18

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I've thought of a couple more possibilities.

    • Frederic Malle Bois d'Orage/French Lover (very woody, no sweetness at all)

    • Frederic Malle Angelique Sous La Pluie (cedar and juniper -- not warm, exactly, but very interesting)

    • Donna Karan Black Cashmere (wood, incense, and the warmth of a cashmere sweater with, to me, only a touch of sweetness in the cashmere; don't let that put you off trying it, though)

    • Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk (wood and vetiver with an amber underneath that warms but doesn't sweeten -- seriously beautiful stuff in parfum extract strength, so just a dab'll do ya!)

    Happy hunting!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Hi Janjanjan, and welcome. My word, can I tell you the suggestions here are really terrific! There are some very special fragrances here that seem to meet your spec, and lots of ideas for the rest of us too.

    I like DaveStPauls suggestions. I have a feeling that you might like CGD Kyoto.
    Now, greens, aromatics, oddballs, not creamy, dry, androgynous.......that road leads to Eloge du Traitre by Etat Libre D'Orange. Jacona suggested Yatagan so we are thinking along the same lines, but IMO Eloge du Traitre is just a bit more contemporary and a bit easier to wear, although still way out there. It's a dry as a bone fougere.

    Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac might be another good one for you to try.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I was going to throw in Chanel Bois des Iles, but I see that is already well covered

    What about Ormande Jayne Woman - may be too creamy though with Iso E, but worth a try, and has oud

  21. #21
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Thanks for all these great leads! I am putting together a sample order now based on the recommendations. Though I am finding that not everything is carried at The Perfumed Court (ex: Comme des Garcons RED series). Are there other services people recommend? I've only used Posh Peasant and TPC.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    There are a few good, warm-ish leathers out there such as Cuir Ottoman and our own Paul Kiler (PK Perfumes') Red Leather. And I think Rubegon mentioned the Memoirs from Amouage which do absinthe incredibly well. Last, I'd look to Slumberhouse which are big, encompassing scents that are oftentimes quite dark and idiosyncratic. I'd suggest Ore, Norne, Jeke, or Vikt for what you're looking for.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Sycomore - Chanel

    Look no further

  24. #24

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan. I like Chergui better but it may be a bit sweet for your taste.

  25. #25
    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Quote Originally Posted by Janjanjan View Post
    Thanks for all these great leads! I am putting together a sample order now based on the recommendations. Though I am finding that not everything is carried at The Perfumed Court (ex: Comme des Garcons RED series). Are there other services people recommend? I've only used Posh Peasant and TPC.
    You can get samples from Luckyscent.com and they carry the Red series:

    http://www.luckyscent.com/shop/categ...es_2:_Red.html
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Chiming in primarily because you sound as though you like the sort of things I like (death to fruity florals and sweets!)

    I second deadidol's suggestion on sampling Slumberhouse. Definitely try Slumberhouse. You might like Norne (hyperreal pine forest) or Jeke (leather, wood, lapsang souchong and a gorgeous vanilla endgame - deep, well-modulated, not cloying, and this is coming from someone who normally can't wear vanilla). Sova was recently discontinued but if you can get your hands on a sample, it's well worth trying too.

    Speaking of greenery, herbal notes and oddball, you'll also want to try O'Driu Linfedele Haiku (or any of the others from that line, for the matter). Supercilium and Subcilium are both fantastic takes on vetiver.

    Good luck, and report back on your choice!

  27. #27

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Hi Janjanjan,

    Wow, you are going to have FUN looking for your perfect winter scent! My favourites seem to work best in winter, here are my suggestions to try. These are all Serge Lutens, all unisex and all sweet-dry (if that's even possible):

    - Borneo 1834 - Probably my ultimate favourite. I went completely off it during the summer, but now it's back Thick, dusty, yummy patchouli and chocolate. It has a weird camphor aspect, but if you can handle oud you can handle this Definitely not for everyone, but I love it.

    - Jeux de Peau - An alternative sandlewood to try. My perception of this switches depending on factors unknown to me. Sometimes I get unpleasant sharp wood/pencil shavings, other times I get yummy milky goodness with a touch of smoke - like creme brulee with the tiniest amount of cigarette ash (and this somehow manages to be a good thing...)

    - Ambre Sultan - Out of these three, this is the one I'd really recommend you try. After a strong aromatic opening, it dries to the most delicious warm, resinous warm goodness, with a sharp-dry aspect that keeps things interesting.


    All the best with your search, and do let us know your thoughts/choices!

  28. #28
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I just wanted to check in quickly and say how grateful I am to everyone's advice. I wasn't able to order everything recommended, but a few also made it onto my list for the next sample round. Out of what I got, this was the most successful sample order I've had yet, hands down, and it's thanks to you all!! Which is a blessing and a curse: I'm over the moon with a few of these fragrances already, but it bodes poorly for my bank account I need two weeks to give most of them a good wear and develop an informed opinion. Two thoughts to start:

    (1) Amouage Memoir Man: THIS is the absinthe fragrance I was looking for!!! (But that full bottle price is outta this world). I wore it home to visit family, my sisters and mother were convinced I smelled like a man well beyond my age. Which, after reading reviews, seems to be a roughly general consensus. I see where they are coming from, but my tastes do wander far from my demographic at times. Go figure, I loved it.

    (2) Avignon: I am already budgeting for a full bottle of this. It puts me in such a peaceful, deep place. I was raised Catholic until age 7. I also dated a man for 4 years who left me for the priesthood (true story, and he was an atheist when we met). So this perfume has two powerful holds on me. One is a childhood association with architectural grandeur and an aloof spiritual power, as well as my Irish roots. The other is the prospect of wearing this around Christmas, when the "one who got away" is coming back after two years abroad in a Catholic outpost on the opposite side of the globe. Will he smell this and feel disgusted that I've taken a sacred scent for my personal indulgence? Will he feel an attraction and internal conflict? Either works for me!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Thank you for taking time and writing back to us. Delighted to hear some of the suggestions worked for you.

  30. #30
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    You might enjoy Estée Lauder- Azureé. Tangy and green. It is still only about $40 and available at the dept store. Also, Annick Goutal- Eau D'Hadrian; cypress and tangy lemon. Get the EDP. The EDT has no silage.


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  31. #31

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Great first impressions - sounds like a promising start!

    Quote Originally Posted by Janjanjan View Post
    I see where they are coming from, but my tastes do wander far from my demographic at times. Go figure, I loved it.
    So do mine. Go for it!

    And if you like incense, I have three words: Norma Kamali Incense. Very dry, ashy frankincense-and-myrrh tomb compared to Avignon's cathedral.

  32. #32
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Here I am with a fuller report back! Thanks again for all of the wonderful wonderful help. Disclaimers: I didn’t venture into leathers or tobaccos so as not to spread myself too thin. There were also a few limitations due to the decant catalogue of the service where I started my first order. Finally, there is a round (2) coming, you can see where I’m headed at the end….

    I am happy to report that DaveStPaul was right – I am an incense girl, which was a joy to discover! And I thoroughly enjoyed playing around with CdG, so thanks for steering me in that direction. Off we go:

    Sandalwhaaa?
    Ambre Sultan, Bois des Iles, Caravelle Epicee were victims of my recently emerging sandalwood aversion. I can tell these are otherwise great scents. If this aversion passes I will come back to AS.

    Incense
    Sprung for a bottle of Avignon already! Enjoyed the green incense of Kyoto very much. Upping the incense ante on my next sample round, as you’ll see if you make it to the end of this small novel here.

    CdG Woods
    Hinoki, a gorgeous crisp hardwood, adding it to my full bottle wish list! You know, there are some much-abused turns of phrase in reviews for woody fragrances: “smells like pencil shavings” or “like a sawed off piece of wood.” Which are meant as criticisms but are not often aptly leveled. First, I take those things as a good sign for my tastes, and second, half the time I’m sad to find the fragrance isn’t nearly crisp or singularly woody enough to merit the comment. Hinoki is unapologetically so with a medicinal touch, a winner. I want to try Sugi now too. Sequoia was stately and enjoyable, while striking a kind of “men’s cologne” pose that I couldn’t pull off in extended use. Palisander went to a spicy soapy place that didn’t wow me. If anyone enjoys hardwoods like I am starting to (we should start a listing thread!) I highly recommend Bowmakers by D.S. & Durga. Gifted to me at Christmas I am quite pleased, and this woman can pull it off with the spray. Something about my dabbed sample made me second guess if it was too masculine, but in the spray the mahogany/maple opens up and around more fully from behind the lacquer/resin layer.

    Slumberhouse
    In the Slumberhouse camp I thought Sova was wild, like a fermented batch of raisins in hay. Preferred Norne, and was surprised to find it had a slight sweetness, like a touch of sap, instead of the astringent pine blast I expected. But lord is that juice viscous! My arm was green tinged and sticky! Can someone with a spray version assure me they don’t ruin clothes with this?! Haha.

    Vetivers
    I liked both Vetiver Tonka and Fat Electrician. VT is certainly well done and had a bracing, tangy cleanliness to it that I want to revisit when the snow clears and my grassy green appetite returns. FE struck me as better for warm weather, with the resins and vanilla. I owe it a second run to make sure it doesn’t go too sweet on me but I think the other ingredients temper it. I seem not to get along with L’Artisan perfumes in spite of their renown - Timbuktu was polished and put together, while I am not. I don’t know what keeps this fragrance from grabbing me, the listed notes sound fabulous. The mango? A puzzle.

    Others
    Eloge Du Traite went to a celery place. I couldn’t shake an image of talcy belly lint while sniffing Nombril Immense, blame the name. Would warm it up a bit if I could, and am extending my search into patchoulis now because there is definitely promise here. Black Cashmere was classy, elegant, and cozy – for when I want to pretend I’m not a scrubby 28 year old, but rather my step mom.

    ROUND 2 has been ordered and I am pumped!!!
    Serge Lutens: Gris Clair, Incense et Lavande, Borneo
    Norma Kamali Incense
    Hindu Kush
    Yatagan
    Profumum: Patchouly, Olibanum
    Coromandel
    Jayne Oromonde Woman
    Guerlain Songe d’Un Bois d’Ete
    Miller Harris La Fumée Arabie
    Diptyque L'Autre
    … and a few others
    Last edited by Twolf; 29th December 2013 at 04:11 AM.

  33. #33
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Ack, I was trying to add bold and italic for reading ease but my html tags backfired. How did y'all manage to format your posts so nicely?

  34. #34

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Like this? You are welcome, too!

    We are normally using the options right above the text box.

    Seriously, thanks bunches for having taken time and sniffing most of the suggested fragrances. It alone -- not counting your descriptions -- deserves a feather in your hat! Stay with us a while, will you please?

  35. #35
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I think I have the fragrance habit hard now, so I will be around My free time to surf the fragrance boards waxes and wanes but I eventually make it back. Thanks for fixing my formatting Twolf!
    Last edited by Janjanjan; 29th December 2013 at 05:17 AM.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I always go for Coromandel time after time. Not a floral scent in any way.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Quote Originally Posted by Janjanjan View Post
    Preferred Norne, and was surprised to find it had a slight sweetness, like a touch of sap, instead of the astringent pine blast I expected. But lord is that juice viscous! My arm was green tinged and sticky! Can someone with a spray version assure me they don’t ruin clothes with this?! Haha.
    Great report - and I assure you that Norne should not be allowed anywhere near your best white linen!

    Nice selection coming up too - would like to hear what you make of NK Incense. Profumum Olibanum is also a nice choice, as is Songe. I've tried only the regular La Fumee so it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the Arabie version. And since you're getting L'Autre, I hope L'eau Trois was among the "few others", given that you like incense! Anyway, as Twolf said, keep the impressions coming.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Hmmmm, my thoughts are if you can get a hold of vintage Trussardi it might tick quite few of the boxes green/leather/mossy. I have the white splash flask version and found it worked well for summer and winter.

    The fragrances market at men might be worth checking out, ones that come to mind are Puredistance M (strong so a little goes a long way), the classic Chanel Antaeus (spice/floral/leather) and Gucci Pour Homme I (woody, it really does remind me of pencil shavings in the best way). Encre Noir (smokey vetiver sans the aldehydes and add in an inky note) and Naomi Goodsir Bois d'Ascése (smokey/boozy/amber). BdA has a big smokey campfire opening, unusual but comforting. Notes from her site 'tobacco & whisky, are supported by cinnamon, amber & cistus labdanum. Oakmoss, smoked cade wood, almost burnt, prolong the incense of Somalia'
    Last edited by Xscent; 30th December 2013 at 12:22 PM.
    We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. ~Kahlil Gibran

  39. #39

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! That's funny, I don't pick up any sandalwood in Ambre Sultan, funny how our noses are all different. Doubt you'd like Jeux de Peau then, so I'm pinning my hopes on my third Lutens horse, Borneo 1834

  40. #40
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    There isn't a lot of sandalwood in Ambre Sultan, but I catch it in the background smoothing everything out for the first hour or so of wear. It's also one of the reasons I haven't been totally won over by Sycomore yet. Neither fragrance has sandalwood as a star player, but since I'm on the outs with sandalwood right now even a supporting role gets noticed.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    You might like to try- Lutens- Vetiver Orientale, Mazzolari- Vetyver, Profumum- Oxiana, Parfumerie Generale- Querelle, Guerlain- Sous les Vent

    my blog entry for Oxiana-

    http://www.basenotes.net/entries/873...unday-11-April

    I think you'll really like Ormonde Jayne-Woman.
    Last edited by kumquat; 2nd January 2014 at 07:12 PM.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    If you're thinking a warmer patchouli might be a good thing, you don't want to miss Mazzolari Patchouly. Another great one is Montale Patchouli Leaves. Montale has a very distinctive base that doesn't agree with me, but I really enjoy Patchouli Leaves on my OH.

    Two others come to mind: Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure -- an amazing warm, smoky incense (lots of great reviews for this one on various perfume blogs) and, if you're thinking about trying the smoky campfire thing, the hyper-realistic Sonoma Scent Studio Fireside Intense is worth a sniff. (That one's also fantastic on my OH, but you have to want campfire accord.)

  43. #43
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    The early purchases

    All these great suggestions made me trigger happy. Only half of round 2 has arrived at my door, and a full test drive is still due to many of those. Yet I’ve already locked in on two and wanted to share the excitement:

    First off, I’m a lover of plain, pure lavender oil, but after disliking every option in a lavender sample pack 6 months ago, I stopped considering it in perfume. Turns out what I needed all along was a good lavender + incense combo. Thus, I loved both Gris Clair and Encens et Lavande - honestly I was torn. GC was dark and rich, simultaneously cooled by iris and warmed in amber, and boy did it project. I couldn’t believe how long the lavender lasted, being a generally fleeting note. EeL was a scratchier and brighter lavender, with a soapy phase before it slips away into the smoke. Perhaps less “perfumey,” while still very fine, and bonus points for no tonka/vanilla to speak of. Each ideal for a different mood: GC for an occasion or a deeply cold night, EeL for tea with a girlfriend or brainiac time. Unable to decide between the two on taste alone, I went for a bottle of the Gris Clair, being much easier to get a hold of in the states, and thus much more affordable: Amazon had it for $65 of all things. Score! Perhaps I’ll find my way into some EeL one day too.

    And second… now, a lot of reviews call this a deeply masculine fragrance, but I am convinced I’ve found my new man-eating she-power scent: Songe d’un Bois d’Ete. What a lovely supporting oud note, not overpowering or band-aid, and delightfully no rose to speak of. I needed an oud that could avoid being a bro-tastic bomb, without relying on florals to counter balance. In Songe, the myrrh is strong and dark enough that I don’t mind its sweetness, the spices give vigor, and the woody patchouli/cedar keep it all grounded. Whatever the jasmine is doing here I hardly notice it. And why call it a man-slaying scent (or woman-slaying, depending on one’s sights)? Because I am convinced the top and middle carry a passing but distinct nod to pussy! Yes, I said it. I’ve only found a few instances of reviews that seemed to pick up anything close, using words like “animalic” “a little stinky” or “some body odor.” But to my nose, that musky, balsamic tang is closest to “vagina.” And by god, it works! Just a top notch fragrance. Too pricey to acquire a full bottle, I’ve made inquiries into what might be my first splits purchase.* Will have to ration my Songe for nights out a-hunting ☺ (Hopefully my take doesn't bother other lovers of this scent, forgive me!)

    Other collected thoughts

    I am impressed by the seamless unity of what I expected to be dissonant notes in Coromandel. Patchouli, citrus, incense, white chocolate? But I am learning never to anticipate dissonance in a Chanel! This comes together so well - takes great talent to have this vision and make it a reality, I'm impressed. A side step from my personality, and I'm off citrus until this deep cold breaks (we have record lows here in the Midwest, USA - stay warm and safe everyone!). But Coromandel nails it for my sister I think. In fact, I'm putting this sample in an envelope for her tomorrow...

    I thought Hindu Kush was a lovely oakmoss, very wearable and serene. Diptyque's L'Autre, which I found while researching other suggestions, was an absolute blast to sample, so unique. A strong resemblance to a friend of mine and the spicy sweat smell he carries when he skips a shower. Norma Kamali's Incense is so strong, in part a function of concentration, that I am waiting for a day alone when I can give it a proper test at safe distance from others. And there are still a few more to get through with the second half of my order en route.

    *Can I just say this website is wonderful?! Splits! Swaps! Ways to share and trade insights/scents with less waste and more discovery than buying and sampling in isolation. I dig this place, I dig you all.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Great feedback Janjanjan. This type of thread helps make Basenotes a great place.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Thanks for taking the time to report back - and in such depth. So many people just take the recommendations and run, but of course it's this kind of considered reviewing that makes BN an excellent resource.

    Glad you're enjoying the BN ride so far

  46. #46

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I would have to say Cherie Blossom by harveyprince, my all time favourite autumn and winter scent.
    Find your favourite fragrance from "harveyprince" without a second thought!

  47. #47

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I really enjoyed your thread and the detailed feedback Janjanjan Have you tried any of Ayala moriels scents? I think you might like Razala. Also from Chanel you should give Egoiste a try.( a "male scent")

  48. #48

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Perhaps Le Dix might be also worth testing: a classic, almost powerhouse-style ladies chypre, with just a hint of leather and boozyness, counterbalanced by bracing, invigorating citrus notes and some florals- never too sweet nor heavy, but still distinctive and strong enough to be suitable for wintertime wear.

  49. #49

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Habanita, great in winter, sultry in the heat

  50. #50
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Revisiting this thread as fall 2014 approaches and I'm happy to report: I've come around on the Ambre Sultan and am close to pulling the trigger on a full bottle! I also went for a large decant of Hindu Kush.

    This fall I'm thinking musk! Any favorite musks or incense-musks?

  51. #51
    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    I love how that happens JanJanJan. I know I started last summer and am in a completely different place than where I started. I think it's a matter of learning how to enjoy scent for what it is rather than basing it on an expectations. When I started, I absolutely despised Chanel No 5, as an example, and now, I can't get enough of it. Its a journey.

    Have you begun retrying the varying samples that you started with then? I bet you'll be surprised at what you think of many of them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it's been fun to read them through.
    I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

    My Sales Thread - A Collection Purge

  52. #52

    Default Re: Woman's winter scent? No big florals or sweet fruits

    Agree with most of the Vetivers recommended in here. It might be interesting to test even fresher scents as a dichotomy for wintery weather, think of it as eating Ice cream in mid-winter.

    Keeping in mind with what you posted you like, you might also want to try some Leathers, woods, ambery and animalic-like scents for winter.


    These might be interesting to test out but try them in the vintage form when available:

    Guerlain's Jicky
    Molinad's Habanita
    Guerlain's Vol de Nuit
    Cartier's Must
    Caron's Narcisse Noir
    Dana's Tabu
    Desprez's Bal à Versailles
    Balmain's Miss Balmain
    Halston's Halston
    Paloma Picasso's Paloma Picasso
    Piguet's Bandit
    Fendi's Fendi
    Trussardi's Trussardi Donna

    and finally YSL's Y

    there's so much more to try out but have fun!

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